Greens Push For Higher Parking Fees To Tackle The ‘Truckzilla’ Onslaught In Australian Cities

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Greens Push For Higher Parking Fees To Tackle The 'Truckzilla' Onslaught In Australian Cities
Greens Push For Higher Parking Fees To Tackle The 'Truckzilla' Onslaught In Australian Cities

An inner-city Melbourne councilor’s proposal could lead to higher parking fees for pickups, utes, and SUVs, taking inspiration from Paris’s approach to curb the influx of large vehicles in urban areas.

Greens councilor Sophie Wade of the Yarra City Council aims to initiate a debate on implementing increased parking rates for oversized vehicles during the council’s session on Tuesday, March 12. Ms. Wade advocates adopting Paris’s strategy, which recently announced steep parking fines for heavy vehicles to deter them from entering the CBD.

Starting September 1, 2024, SUVs, petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid cars weighing over 1600kg, as well as electric cars over 2000kg, will face charges of up to €37.50 per hour (~$60) for parking in the city center and up to €30 (~$50) per hour elsewhere in the city.

Ms. Wade’s call for increased parking fees targets large vehicles like “RAMs and ‘Defenders’,” citing their higher greenhouse gas emissions, potential street damage, and increased risk of accidents involving children compared to sedans or hatchbacks.

A Blue Ford Ranger
A Blue Ford Ranger (Credits: Ford)

Despite booming sales of North American pickups in Australia, reaching a market record of over 10,000 units sold in 2023, they accounted for just 0.85 percent of all new vehicle sales last year. In contrast, SUVs dominated the new car sales race, comprising 55.8 percent of the market and securing seven of the top 10 positions.

While utes had a smaller market share of around 20 percent of new vehicle sales, the top three best-selling vehicles were the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, and Isuzu D-Max.

The Ford Ranger experienced its peak sales month in December, with 7767 units sold, while the Ram 1500, the best-seller in the full-sized pickup market, achieved 5922 sales throughout 2023.

Following Ms. Wade’s parking fee proposal, Greens MP Dr. Tim Read raised the issue in the Victorian Parliament, urging the state government to consider measures to reduce the presence of “truckzillas” on local roads.

Dr. Read, in a video posted on Instagram, highlighted the increasing presence of oversized utes like the Ford Raptor and Dodge Ram in Melbourne, noting their struggle to fit into parking spaces and navigate roundabouts on smaller streets, often with only one occupant and little cargo.

A White Toyota HiLux
A White Toyota HiLux (Credits: Toyota)

He emphasized that this “auto-obesity” phenomenon extends to SUVs, even in the parliamentary car park. Cate Faehrmann, New South Wales Greens transport spokesperson and Legislative Council member, echoed Dr. Read’s concerns, emphasizing the excessive size of SUVs and their impact on road space.

She expressed support for higher parking fees as a means to encourage alternative modes of transport like trains or bicycles. Randwick Greens Mayor Philipa Veitch also voiced openness to measures aimed at discouraging large vehicles, which she described as clogging up roads and posing risks to pedestrians and cyclists.

While Standards Australia sought public feedback on increasing the length of standard off-street parking spaces by 200mm to accommodate larger vehicles, there are no immediate plans to widen the standard 2.4-meter width.

However, even with this proposed increase, parking spaces may still be insufficient for vehicles like the six-meter-long Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ford F-150.


By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

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